Newcastle has topped the league for the most sustainable of the UK’s large cities for the second year in a row, it has been announced.
The city has started installing 580 electric vehicle charging points in the region, as part of efforts to become the UK’s electric car capital, and is the centre of a budding clean technology “cluster” in the North-East.
It has extended its lead over its rivals in the Sustainable Cities Index, which judges the 20 biggest cities across the UK in terms of environmental performance, quality of life and how well they are planning for the future by addressing issues such as climate change.
Leicester has undergone a transformation from 14th place four years ago to second place in the 2010 league - and has the highest environmental performance, for example by producing the least household waste and doing best at looking after its wildlife.
Brighton, Bristol and London come third, fourth and fifth in the league table.
According to the index, all five top-placed cities have set themselves ambitious targets and have long-term visions of how to improve life for residents by reducing their environmental impact and creating new opportunities in the green economy.
Nottingham has suffered the biggest fall in the table, dropping four places to 12th, while Hull remains bottom of the league for the third year in the row, coming last on employment and near the bottom on business start-ups.
Peter Madden, chief executive of Forum for the Future which runs the league that is sponsored by manufacturing giant GE, said: “Cities are having to count every penny so it’s essential that they invest wisely for long-term success.
“Leaders like Newcastle and Leicester are developing plans to run services in smarter ways, tackle challenges like climate change and secure the jobs of the future.”
Barry Rowland, chief executive of Newcastle City Council, said: “Sustainability is right at the top of our agenda, and we intend to keep it there.”
The league table of the 20 largest UK cities, judged on their efforts on sustainability is: